Johanna Garth is the author of The Persephone Campbell Series; a modern take on the myth of Hades and Persephone. Losing Beauty and Losing Hope are now both available for your up-all-night pleasure. Johanna lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children. When she's not blogging here on MWF, she's busy writing more books.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Technology Take Two
I received such a huge volume of responses and inquiries about the technology contract negotiated between myself and Child #1 that I decided to publish it here in today's post.
As I said on Monday, this contract is the negotiated version of one that first appeared here in Huffington Post and was drafted by Janell Burley Hofmann as a contract for her thirteen year old son.
Can you guess which clause Child #1 drafted?
All references to “I” herein refer
to both Mom and Dad. All references to “you” herein refer to Child #1.
1. It is my phone. I bought it. I
pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Isn’t it exciting that you have a phone!!
2. I will always know the password.
3. The phone will go into inactive
mode promptly at 8:00 p.m. every school night and every weekend night at 9:00
p.m. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30 a.m. If you
would not make a call to someone's land line, wherein their parents may answer
first, then do not call or text. Listen to your instincts, they will serve you
well throughout your life and respect other families like we would like to be
4. It does not go to school with
you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It's a life skill.
*Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special
5. If it falls into the toilet,
smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the
replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit or spend some of the money you’ve been hoarding in your purse. Accidents happen,
you should be prepared.
6. Do not use this technology to
lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in
conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or suffer the
7. Do not text, email, or say
anything through this device you would not say in person.
8. Think about the kinds of
statements that would upset, disappoint or anger your parents. Do not text,
email, chat, or use this device to say something to someone that would fall
into any of the categories in the previous sentence. Censor yourself. It’s
another important life skill.
9. No porn. Search the web for
information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about
anything, ask a person -- preferably me or your father. Remember, just because
it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. The clearest information about sex
will always come from your parents.
10. Turn it off, silence it, put it
away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking
with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to
dictate your behavior.
11. Do not send or receive pictures
of your private parts or anyone else's private parts. Even though this sounds
silly now, someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high
intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is
always a bad idea. Cyberspace is
vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this
magnitude disappear -- including a bad reputation.
12. Leave your phone home sometimes
and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of
you. Learn to live without it.
13. Download music that is new or
classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same
exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history.
Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.
14. Play a game with words or
puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
15. Keep your eyes up. See the world
happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Wonder
16. You will mess up. I will take
away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again.
You and I, we are always learning. I am on your team and we are in this together.
17. I will not play any games,
change the passcode or pretend to be you. After I have checked your phone I
will put it back where I found it. If I block someone on any application I will
tell you afterwards. I will not send any emails or texts or delete any of your pictures
or videos, so long as they are appropriate.
It is my hope you can agree to these
terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to
life. You are growing up in a fast and ever-changing world. I want you to have
access to all that it offers while giving you the tools to negotiate it safely.
Trust your amazing mind, spot-on instincts and enormous and loving heart above
any machine. I love you.